Family of River Phoenix Denies Involvement with 'Dark Blood' Release
Just a few days ago, we brought you news of director George Sluizer's plans to finally share with the world Dark Blood, his unreleased 1993 film that features the last remaining performance of the late River Phoenix (the young actor tragically died of a drug overdose with only 11 days left on the production of the film). Sluizer said that he planned to enlist the help of brother Joaquin Phoenix to provide ADR to substitue for River's voice and had remained in close contact with the Pheonix family, leading us to believe the release had their full support and cooperation. According to them, that doesn't seem to be the case at all.
In a statement release by a representative of the family to Deadline, the Phoenix family firmly stated:
“Despite George Sluizer’s claim that he has been communicating with River Phoenix’s family in regard to releasing River’s last film, Joaquin Phoenix and his family have not been in communication with the director nor will they participate in any way.”
As I noted in our original story, the film's producers attempted to sue River Phoenix's mother for $6 million when the film could not be finished (they cited that the actor did not declare his drug use for insurance purposes). That lawsuit was later dropped. But I'm assuming, according to the family's statement, that any bad blood on Dark Blood between the producers, the filmmaker, and the Phoenix family was not. I guess time will tell if the film will see the light of day by next year. It doesn't appear that the family will attempt to block the release but rather boycott it. Do you think Dark Blood should be released?